In The Eyes of Bunso

He’s always going to be known as Ryan Christian, althought he doesn’t mind if you call him just Ryan (He has also heard people call him by his dad’s name, Ralph, or by his brother’s name, Luis). Unless you’ve caught his very few TV appearances of late, you might still picture Ryan Christian Recto as a fair-skinned, brown-haired, doe-eyed little boy. He is still all that, except that now he is twice as tall as that little boy and is a 19-year-old college student, taking up management at the Ateneo de Manila University. At the time of the Yes! interview, Ryan is thinking of shifting to another business course, management economics. “I still haven’t made up my mind what to specialize in,” he says. “I’m just exploring everything now.” Yes, even including show business and politics.

Ryan dabbled in acting when he was younger. He had regular guesting stints on the long-running kiddie gag show Goin’ Bulilit (He was in the same batch as Kathryn Bernardo, Nash Aguas, and Jane Oineza). “I’m cool with it,” he says. “I think others want it more than me. It interests me, but not to the point where I’d go to the same lengths as others. More like, if it’s there, it’s there.” Just a normal teenage boy, except that he is not – at least not to us, the public. He is, after all, the son of the Star for All Seasons. He grew up in a world where his mom was already the Ate Vi. To this day, when he comes home from school, there are times when he would look for his mom and jokingly shout: “Ate Vi!” “I didn’t see her before she wasn’t well-known to everyone,” he says.

“I didn’t need to get used to it, you know what I mean? Kasi, for me, that was normal.” It was normal that one day he stumbled upon videos of the Darna series that starred his mother. “The feeling you get, you know,” he says animatedly. “You see Wonder Woman, but I can say my mom did it better! Hahaha! Kasi ako, I’m a big komiks fan and the fact that she played a superhero, that’s…ang galing!” Ryan lists the Darna series, particularly Darna and the Giants, as his favorite in his mother’s filmography. Not many can say that their moms had “playing Darna”in their resume, but Ryan says that, for the most part, his mother is a “regular Filipino mom.” Whenever Ryan had friends over, Ate Vi would welcome them and insist on feeding everyone. “Kahit busog ka, bibigyan ka pa rin.” At home, Ryan says his mom would typically be in a shirt, “short shorts,”and one of those workout headbands. Not in a duster? “She’s too young for that!” Ryan replies, chuckling.

“I’m kidding. Not just her thing.” He says Ate Vi, on her days off from work, can usually be found sitting on the couch in the TV are. “She does everything in that couch!” he says. She works out, eats, watches TV, and even falls asleeep there. “She sleeps with the TV on,” Ryan reveals. “If you turn off the TV, she’ll wake up.” Overall, he says, his mom is “a mix of strict and cool.” He even prefers talking to her when it comes to the subject of girls. Both of his parents “give good advice,” he says. “Pero I like mom’s advice better. Hahaha! If you want to know something about a woman, why would you ask a man? Might as well ask a woman! So girls -Mom. Dad -all of the serious stuff.” Ryan is currently in a relationship and has brought his girlfriend home to meet his parents.

“Napaka-welcoming ni Mom, fortunately. Every time we have a family thing, ‘O, invite your girl,’ like that.” Ate Vi has also encouraged Ryan in music. He had tried diffrent kinds of instruments, but he found that the drum “clicks with me.” he adds: “And like my mom said, pinakamalakas na appeal daw in a band is the drums. Hahaha! Siyempre, my mom, dancer siya, e. So my mom, sa beat siya. You can’t make people dance with the guitar, di ba? There has to be a beat.” He reiterates: “Kaya drummers siguro ‘yong may pinakamalakas na appeal. Hahaha!” Like other boys his age, Ryan is also allowed to have fun and have a few drinks with friends, but not without getting serious reminders from both his parents. They always remind him not to drink and drive, and not to go all out when it comes to alcohol.

“Magtira ka bago umuwi,” he says, repeating his dad’s words. “Let’s say you’re in a friend’s house and you get drunk. Don’t puke in their house. That’s very, very disrespectful to them. Don’t pass out in their house or something. Don’t do that.” Ryan takes his parents’ trust in him seriously. He knows that these freedoms were given to him out of trust. “It’s mostly a matter of me just being responsible. If they see that I am responsible, that I can manage myself when I go out of whatever, that’s fine. But if they didn’t see that, then no.” He makes it a point to give his parents updates on his whereabouts. “Not naman every five minutes, no. It’s more like letting them know where I am, how long I’ll stay.” But, of course, the cool-parenting part ends somewhere.

Ate Vi draws the line when it come to serious matters like schooling. One time, when he was in high school, Ryan got into huge trouble because he was always late for school, which was “literally 20 steps away from our house.” “Inaabuso ko ‘yong the fact na my house is near,” he recalls. “Napupuyat ako palagi. At night, I just think about the next day. Sometimes I watch movies. And because of that, nasanay na.” His tardiness got so frequent that the school sanctioned him and made him do community service. “I had to clean up a beach.” As a result, Ryan got an earful from his parents. Ate Vi tell us later, when it’s her turn to be interviewed by Yes!, about how she scolded her bunso. She told him: “Kahihiyan na ‘yan anak. Mahiya ka dahil ‘yong ginagawa mo, boomerang sa amin.

Parang wala kaming kuwentang mga magulang, you know. Five minutes away sa school, late pa? May memo pa?” Ryan has since learned his lesson. Now that he travels from Ayala Alabang in the south to the Ateneo campus in the north, he leaves the house an hour and a half before his scheduled calss. He is now very punctual, his mom tell us. These days, he even prepares his school stuff, including the clothes he will wear to school, the night before. Ate Vi reports: “Nagugulat ako! ‘Anak, are you sure?’ Nakikita ko na preparing na. ‘This is what I am going to wear tomorrow.’ Nilalabas niya na ‘yong rubber shoes, ayun.” By the looks of it, Ryan is growing up to be a stand-up man, someone who’s reliable and trustworthy, someone you can depend on to “stand up and be counted.” Ate Vi and Senator Ralph must be doing something right. – Candice Lim-Venturanza, Yes! Magazine October 2015 (READ MORE)

Thank you, Simon

The online blog of this legendary video rental/store started with it’s firt post on July 1, 2007 with links of what’s the blogger favourite films, etc…since then Video48 became arguably, the number one source of materials for atleast Filipino film buffs, including yours truly. This post is a way of thanking the blogger, Simon Santos (not related to my favourite artist, Vilma Santos) for his kindness of allowing hundreds of his followers to feast with hard-to-find materials on favourite local artists! As what the initial quote from the blog said, “Have you missed something or feeling nostalgic? Feel free to browse and navigate the site. Go to search or press or click the Archive/Vault, Categories or other thumbnails found at the right side of the page. Thank you for coming over!” No, Simon…THANK YOU.

About the Blogger and the blog – Video 48 opened it’s door on October 19, 1988 (making it 30 years old!) and it’s still located at 48 West Avenue Quezon City, Philippines (Phone: 373-2936), that explained the number “48.” According to his profile, Simon loves FPJ, that is the late Fernando Poe Jr. which explained the banner to his blog featuring “da King.” Also, a movie enthusiast and photo hobbyist, which also revealed the reason of so much collection of film memorabilias!

Bookmarked! – “This is no ordinary video rental store. Their clientele include university students, professors, filmmakers, and major broadcast network executives. They have collection of over 10,000 films, all in either Laser, VHS, DVD, or VCD format. They have the compilations Oscar Best Pictures (1928 to 2009), Golden Globe Best Foreign Films (1949 to 2008), and Oscar Foreign Language Films (1948 to 2008). Their standard rate is P30 for a VCD or VHS copy and P40 to P60 for a DVD copy. These rates changes depending on how many titles you borrow. Length of rental is five days. They also sell films such as original copies of The Imagination of Doctor Parnassus and other hard to find film gems. Best of all, Video 48 has copies of great Pinoy films most of us may never have heard of. If you’re addicted to Filipino films, you definitely have to bookmark Video 48’s blog.” – Nicai de Guzman, “Top 10 Spots for Manila’s Film Buffs,” Spot, 01 June 2010 (READ MORE)

Vintage – “One of the best local blogs we’ve come across recently is the Video 48 blog by film enthusiast Simon Santos. Props to the guy for keeping the flame of classic Filipino movies alive and reintroducing these classic films to both local and foreign cinema buffs. His collection of movie minutiae, from vintage posters (such as those of the Eddie Garcia starrer Batuta ni Drakula) to film historical anecdotes, is both wonderful and entertaining, a trip back in time to when local cinema was at its peak…” – Karlo Samson, Maxim Magazine, February 2009 (READ MORE)

Deserves Recognition – “…Thanks to the Internet and the efforts of obsessive fanboys and girls – many of them outside the Philippines – these films are beginning to get some kind of recognition (“respect” may be too strong a word)…It is on the worldwide web, however, where these movies continue to live a preternatural half-life, as downloadable torrents, or legal online DVD purchases, and enshrined as the content of lovingly constructed websites and blogs, ripe for rediscovery…Thankfully, we have a local counterpart in video48 blog. Maintained by one Simon Santos, the site offers a somewhat more balanced view of Philippine cinema, including as it does more mainstream films and fewer of the more extreme type (although it has its share of Pinoy movie arcana, offering for instance, proof of the existence of a 1987 bold film actually titled “Diligin ng Suka ang Uhaw na Lumpia”). It also covers Tagalog komiks and other aspects of Filipino popular culture, with an equally obsessive attention to detail. With a wealth of archival material including news items, photographs, movie posters and scanned artwork, video48 is a true labor of fanboy love…” – Eric S. Caruncho, 05 July 2009, Sunday Inquirer Magazine (READ MORE)

Art Films – “…So why would the likes of Lino Brocka, Nick Joaquin, Lualhati Bautista, Ricky Lee, Laurice Guillen, Jeffrey Jeturian and other noted storytellers trek all the way to West Avenue just to rent a couple of videos? Geez, maybe because there’s something more to it than housing that, which you may have seen on Philippine silverscreen. Unknown to many is that this rare shop had been standing there for the past 15 years. The soft-spoken owner Simon Santos showed us around this haven. Video 48 (the name is culled from its address—48 West Avenue), a two-story unit where the popular titles in VHS, VCD and DVD are found in the first floor, while the laser disc and betamax copies are kept upstairs…It all began in 1988 when movie home viewing was only made possible by the betamax and then a little later by the Laser Disc. Santos, a film-lover himself, collected his favorite films in these formats. His early collection of 200 titles included the films of Alfred Hitchcock, John Wayne, James Stewart, Gary Cooper, Vittorio de Sica, Federico Fellini, Kurosawa and Almodovar. When his friends began borrowing his copies, an idea fell on his lap and kindled the urge to put up a video-renting business. “My family was then growing and I needed extra jinglers in my pocket,” he said. “But is was a risky venture. Back then, in the late eighties, video shops were opening all over the country. Also, cable television networks were being established and film piracy was becoming rampant. I had to be careful of how these might affect the business, but I chose to offer renters an alternative by making my own collection of classics and art films available…” – Iris Ayong, Manila Times, 7 May 2004 (READ MORE)

Disciple of the Cinema – “…Everyone who enters Video 48 is welcomed to a celebrity corner, where the icons of Philippine cinema have etched their musings. Celso Ad Castillo, for instance, declares: “To whom I pin my aesthetic hopes.” Luciano “Chaning” Carlos ushers in the visitor with the statement: “Enter the dazzling world of the past through Video 48. Truly entertaining coupled with warm reception and friendly persuasions.” For his part, Maryo J. de los Reyes pays tribute to the man behind Video 48: “A great disciple of the cinema! See you always at the movies!” Conceived during the betamax craze in 1988, Video 48 sprang from the collection of owner Simon Santos. “Watching movies is my favorite pastime,” he says. “My inventory grew gradually and friends started to rent from me.” Starting with two favorite directors, Alfred Hitchcock and Akira Kurosawa, Simon’s compilation has reached to thousands of movie titles, from classics to new releases, from common to rare ones, from art to foreign language films, from documentaries to Hollywood blockbusters, from Tagalog films to several other genres. Available in VCD and DVD formats, and yes even in VHS, these titles are either for rent or for sale. Among its cult followers are film students, collectors and enthusiasts, including the late National Artists Lino Brocka and Nick Joaquin…” – Ieth Inolino, Sense & Style, September 2009 (READ MORE)

Dawn of Various Formats – “…Almost 21 years after its debut, Video 48 has proven its mettle. While local rental shops have come and gone, the shop has witnessed the dawn of various formats: Betamax, VHS, laser disc, VCD, and DVD. Some have thrust into oblivion, but surprisingly, these formats share a roof in Video 48. Though the influx of cable television and piracy somehow challenged Video 48’s success, Mr. Santos has managed to keep things exciting. “Sometimes I have to add some interesting titles to my existing inventory, like art films, operas, documentaries. I now sell movie posters, magazines, movie memorabilia, movie related toys and action figures to complement my existing business,” he says. Notwithstanding, the minor changes in the shop, it still looks like an old school video shack— the kind that people flock to for weekend movie marathons. There is recognizable delight in combing the familiar-looking aisles for remarkable titles. Perhaps that’s what kept Video 48 rolling all these years, nostalgia.” – Kristy Ann Texon, Sidetrip Tarvel magazine!, July – October 2009 (READ MORE)

Film is Life – “…Way before YouTube and pirated DVDs, there were video stores that provided the common person’s movie needs. Video 48 was and continues to be one of them. Founded by Simon Santos in 1988, it became home to hundreds of films in different media through the decades— from betamax and VHS tapes, laser discs (yes, they still exist), VCDs, and DVDs. In the mood for a James Dean’s bad boy marathon or maybe some Kurosawa/Hitchcock/Bergman classics? How about a taste of local films starring FPJ and Dolphy from the 70s? Video 48’s extensive line-up of hard-to-find films has attracted a myriad of excellent directors like the late Lino Brocka and Ishmael Bernal, writers Nick Joaquin and Pete Lacaba. Toys adorn the white walls and wooden shelves as much as posters. A life-sized model of Master Yoda even takes the space at the store’s entrance, as if inviting passers-by to come inside and join the Force. Because as Simon has proven, watching films is more than just a fun activity you do to get away from real life. It is life…” – Nante Santamaria, Status Magazine, March 2010 (READ MORE)

FPJ Fanatic – “…Simon’s main reason for putting up Video48 back in October 19, 1988 involved his need to support his family and to end his dependence on his parent’s business. Having a strong interest in movies, he decided that a video rental store would hit two birds with one stone; it would fulfill his family’s everyday expenses, as well as his own appetite for cinema. “I had a seven year old and a nine year old daughter that time, and Betamaz was all the rave. So I decided to put up Video48,” he said. “At the same time, I also like what I do.”…I grew up during the 60’s, during the time of FPJ (Fernando Poe Jr), Joseph Estrada and Jess Lapid,” he said, “Brocka and Bernal also started during the 60’s.”…Video48’s clientele is usually comprised of film enthusiast who, like Simon grew up during the time when the internet was still nonexistent and FPJ, Estrada and Dolphy (Rodolfo Quizon) ruled the cinemas. As proof, Simon (a self-confessed FPJ fanatic) even posted autographs he had collected over the years of his favorite movie actors, the most prominent of which is FPJ’s on the door of Video48. “Maraming nagpupunta sa akin, lalo na ‘yong mga balikbayan na naghahanap ng lumang pelikula ni FPJ, Joseph Estrada at Dolphy. Added revenue ‘yon sa part ko. Nakakatuwa na nakakagenerate siya ng income para sa akin,” he said…However, Video48 is not without its struggles: “Nung 1990s nagkaroon ng Cable TV kaya medyo bumagsak iyong video industry noong time na ‘yon.” The spread of piracy in the country has also taken toll. “Biro mo nagbabayad ka ng license at bumibili ng original 350 person ang isa tapos paparenta mo lang ng 30 pesos. Ilang beses mo ipapa-rent ‘yun? 10 times bago ka kumita. Pero kapag pirated, 30 pesos lang para mabili mo ‘yong pelikula.” Simon said…”Gusto ko talaga ang ginagawa ko dahil worth it naman. Hindi ka naman magsusucceed sa ginagawa mo pag di mo gusto…” – Raydon Reyes, Photo: Katrina Lucano Fudge Magazine, August 2008 (READ MORE)

Related Links
* What They Say About Video 48
* On Video 48
* Vilma Santos postings

Remembering Mama Santos… 2/2

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Remembering Mama Santos… 1/2

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Ang Reyalidad – “OK naman lahat except bumigay na ‘yung heart. Siguro, sabi ni Mama, ‘OK na. Enough na.’ At least, alam ni Mama, nandito kaming lahat. And we did our best…Tanggapin na natin, 93 na ang mama mo. That we have to accept, You know, kahit sinasabihan ka, iba pa rin pag nangyari na. Kahit anong sabihin sa ‘yo, ‘mag-prepare ka na,’ hindi ganun kadali when nandoon ka na sa realidad na wala na siya, you know. And iba pa rin. Iba pa rin…Pero ngayon na dumating ang mga kapatid ko, I felt good. Kasi, kumpleto kaming magkakapatid. From the States, kanina lang sila dumating, e. Inabot pa nga nila ‘yung blessing kay Mama. Nakakasarap lang ng pakiramdam na may mga karamay ka…” – Hon. Rep Congresswoman Vilma Santos-Recto, ABS-CBN News, 04 April 2019 (READ MORE)

Pahinga na sa lahat ng hirap at pagod sa buhay – “It was a bitter pill. Masakit talaga para sa aming mga anak niya iyong pagkawala niya, but deep inside alam naman naming nahihirapan na rin siya at iyong nangyari means makapagpapahinga na rin siya sa lahat ng hirap at pagod sa buhay…In fact, we all came out strong. Siya nga kasi ang naging example namin eh. Hindi ko masasabing walang hindi naging magandang nangyari sa buhay ko, pero natutuhan ko ang bumangon at mailagay sa ayos ang lahat. Iyong mga kapatid ko, hindi ko naman masasabing hindi rin nagkaroon ng problema, pero sila man mabilis na nakakabangon, kasi nga iyon ang nakagisnan namin kay Mama. At iyong totoo, hindi umasa si Mama sa akin. Lagi siyang may sariling negosyo kahit na ano pa iyan, kaya hindi namin masabing umasa siya sa amin. Noon na nga lang talagang mahina na siya at saka lang siya tumigil talaga. Pero hindi pa rin agad tumigil eh, siguro hindi niya kayang kumilos pero noon kasi iba pa rin ang isip niya. Nagbibigay pa rin siya ng advice and most of the time, maiisip mo, tama ang sinasabi niya…(Stop muna si Vi sa kanyang re-election campaign) kailangan ko namang makabawi kay Mama…” – Hon. Congresswoman Vilma Santos-Recto, reported by Ed de Leon, Pang-masa, 04 April 2019 (READ MORE)

Mami-miss ka namin, Mama – “…60 years old na si Mama nang una ka­ming magkakilala. Dekada ‘80 noon. Estudyante pa lang ako sa kolehiyo noong una kong makilala at ligawan si Vi. Ang Papa nilang si Amado Constantino Santos ay maagang pumanaw, isang taon bago kami magkakilala ni Vi…Nang ikinasal kami ni Vi noong 1992, si Mama at si Sonny ang naghatid sa altar kay Vi. At doon nagsimula ang ‘love story’ namin ni Mama, bukod sa love story namin ni Vilma. Sa lahat ng pagkakataon, buhat nang magsama kami ni Vi noong 1986, si Mama ay palaging nasa panig ko. Maaaring itanggi ni Vi iyan, subalit iyan ang totoo. Maalaga at sweet si Mama sa akin kaya’t kaming dalawa ang magkasundo. Palagi niya akong ipinaghahanda ng mga pagkaing nanggaling Nueva Ecija, ang probinsya ng mga Santos, katulad ng ‘batutay’ o longganisa ng Nueva Ecija. Kung ano man at saan man naroroon si Vi ngayon ay dahil kay Mama. Tulad ko ay Capricorn ang zodiac sign ni Mama kaya’t ang personalidad namin ay parehong competitive. At bilang competitive na stage mother, siya ang masipag magdala kay Vi sa lahat ng audition sa shows at pelikula, at doon na nga nagsimula ang career ni Vi noong mapili siyang gumanap bilang Trudis Liit sa edad na 9 na taon. Nasungkit kaagad ni Vi ang Best Child Actress award mula sa Famas. Naging mabuting ina si Mama sa magkakapatid na Santos. Siya rin ang dahilan kung bakit nananatiling close ang magkakapatid hanggang sa ngayon…Mami-miss ka namin, Mama. Sinabi ni Vi dati na ang pinakamatin­ding krisis o dagok na pinagdaanan niya sa buong buhay niya ay noong namatay ang Papa niya. Siguradong ibayong kalungkutan ang nararamdaman ni Vi at mga kapatid sa iyong pagpanaw…Pahinga ka na, Mama. Maraming sa­lamat sa pagpapalaki mo sa isang Vilma Santos na ngayon ay kasama ko sa buhay. Maraming salamat sa pagturing mo sa akin na parang tunay na anak…” – Hon. Sen. Ralph Recto, Abante, 02 April 2019 (READ MORE)

Huling Misa – “…Magmimisa lang siguro kami nang maaga, 9 o’clock in the morning. Libing na yun…And then, after that, it’s… thank you na. And then, we’ll just bring the urn of Mama sa isang simbahan sa Alabang. Kasi, meron na siyang lugar doon. Tapos, after election siguro… kasi kaya Loyola ang pinili ko, andito si Papa. Dito nakalibing si Papa. So, siguro after election, ipapakuha ko yung bones ni Papa. ‘Tapos, ise-shred na lang. ‘Tapos, ilalagay ko na rin sa urn. Tapos, pagsasamahin ko na silang dalawa doon sa simbahan somewhere in Alabang…At least, Mama is resting na…Siyempre, alam mo… maraming nagsasabi na… even the time na-hospital si Mama, two months sa hospital, na-ICU… ‘Tanggapin na natin, 93 na ang mama mo. That we have to accept. Ano’t ano…’ You know, kahit sinasabihan ka, iba pa rin pag nangyari na. Kahit anong sabihin sa ‘yo, ‘Mag-prepare ka na.’ Hindi ganun kadali when nandoon ka na sa realidad na wala na siya, you know. And iba pa rin. Iba pa rin. So… ganun. Pero ngayon na dumating ang mga kapatid ko, I felt good. Kasi, kumpleto kaming magkakapatid. From the States, kanina lang sila dumating, e. Inabot pa nga nila yung blessing kay Mama. Nakakasarap lang ng pakiramdam na may mga karamay ka…Pinaplano pa lang namin ngayon, Kasi, ngayon pa lang dumating yung mga kapatid ko. Pero siguro… hindi naman ito yung bonggacious na… knowing me?! Basta kami, more on… since we’re all family, from showbiz and now that I’m a public servant, basta kung ano yung puwede naming ma-offer. Misa kay Mama, sino ang makaalala, thank you. Hindi makaalala, salamat din. Ang mga nagbigay ng pakikiramay, salamat din. Pero hindi naman ito yung kailangan, pabongga. Hindi naman! Basta ang gusto lang namin, may importanteng…. andiyan pa rin naman ang mga kamag-anak ng mama ko, which is very important. Kasi importante, meron kaming misa. And then sa Friday, kumpleto kaming limang magkakapatid. We don’t know yet if we need to say something, and maybe, pasalamatan lahat ng nakiramay. Pero nothing really bonggacious. Wala kaming planong ganun…Gumagawa pa ng rosary si Mama at ibinibigay kay Cardinal, Kaya kilala ni Cardinal Rosales si Mama..” – Hon. Congresswoman Vilma Santos-Recto, reported by Jerry Olea, PEP, 04 April 2019 (READ MORE)

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The Passing of Marie Balbacui, A Vilmanian

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Paalam Marie – “…Nagulat ako sa biglaang pamamaalam ni Marie Balbacui na kapanabayan namin every Sunday sa Custodial sa Camp Crame nu’ng nakakulong pa doon sina Sen. Jinggoy at Sen Bong. Hindi pumapalya si Marie tuwing Linggo sa Crame. Natagpuan daw na patay na sa kanyang tinutuluyan somewhere sa Sampaloc. Ang pakikiramay sa kamag-anakan. Fan ‘yan ni Vilma Santos noong kabataan niya…” – Joe Barrameda, Abante, 05 March 2019 (READ MORE)

Vilma Santos: From Trudis Liit to Aida Macaraeg

From Trudis Liit to Aida Macaraeg spans 21 long years and that covers the film career of top actress Vilma Santos until now. Trudis Liit has already become synonymous with the famous actress’ name in the same manner that Darna (which she starred with Rosa del Rosario, Liza Moreno, Evan Montes, Gina Pareño, Lorna Tolentino -on TV- Rio Locsin, and would you believe, even Dolphy in Darna Kuno?), Dyesebel (which she aldo shared with Edna Luna, Eva Montes – did she or didn’t she – and Alma Moreno), Wonder Vi, Maria Sinderela, (in Ang Mahiwagang Daigdig ni Maria Sinderela), Susan Kelly (in Susan Kelly, Edad 20), Rubia Servios and Miss X have been identified with her. And now Aida Macaraeg. Aida Macaraeg: Adultery Case No. 3690 is the new and hopefully the final title of Vilma’s latest Regal film which is directed by Lino Brocka. Ilang beses ding nagpalit-palit ng titulo ang pelikulang ito ni Vilma starting out with Obsession as its working title, then it was changed to Separasyon Legal, and still to Paano Kita Mamahalin? before finally setting for Aida Macaraeg: Adultery Case No. 3690. Maganda na sana ang unang titulo nito, ang Obsession. Bagay na bagay ito sa tema ng kuwento about an obsessed lover kaya lang medyo apprehensive ang pamunuan ng Regal na baka hindi ito bumenta sa mga probinsiya dahil masyadong high sounding ang tilulong Obsession at hindi ito maintindihan. The most likely thing to happen ay maipagkakamali itong isang foreign film with the same title shown several years ago. That film was directed by Brian de Palma and it starred Genevieve Bujold.

The change from Obsession to Separasyon Legal did not satisfy the Regal boss, Lily Monteverde, because the new title sounded like a take-off from two of Vilma’s most successful films, Relasyon and Broken Marriage. So they thought of another title and conisdered Paano Kita Mamahalin. Pero and Paano Kita Mamahalin? ay parang kapareho ng titulo ng pinakamalaking hit na pelikula ng Viva Films na major competitor ng Regal. Ito iyong Paano Ba Ang Mangarap? na pinangunahan din ni Vilma Santos. Matagal nang tapos ang pelikula at umalis at dumating na mula sa abroad ang direktor nitong si Lino Brocka ay hindi pa mapagpasiyahan ang talagang ipapamagat dito. So, nag-meeting uli ang mga taga-Regal and after a thorough brainstorming session may nag-suggest ng pangalang Aida Macaraeg (according to reports ay si Ronald Carballo raw ang nagbigay ng pangalang iyon) at dinagdagan na lang iyon ng Adultery Case No. 3690 dahil nga tungkol sa isang true-to-life adultery case ang pelikula na hango sa files ng manunulat na si Aida Sevilla-Mendoza. Finally, napagkasunduan na rin ang huling titulo at ito’y iri-release na tentatively in January 1984. The new title reminds one of the film Rubia Servios which was also a true-to-life account of a celebrated case (this time rape) and featured the successful triumvirate fo Vilma Santos, Philip Salvador and Lino Brocka. Maalala na sa pelikulang Rubia Servios nakaranas at natamo ng aktres ang pinaka-heartbreaking na kabiguan sa kanyang entire career during the 1978 Metro Manila Film Festival.

Sa nasabing festival, matunog na matunog ang pangalan ni Vilma – with the moviegoing audience, the film enthusiasts and the film critics – at hinulaan pa ngang siya ang mananalo pero nang dumating ang awards night ay si Nora Aunor ang nagwagi para sa pelikulang Atsay. Sabi pa nga noon ni Vilma: “Talagang doon ako sa pelikulang iyon umasa nang malaki at nabigo. Pagkatapos noon, parang nagkaroon na ako ng phobia na magdadalo sa mga awards night at lalong hindi na ako umaasa nang ganoong katindi. Kaya laking gulat ko nang mapanaluhan ko ang lahat ng mga Best Actress awards sa taong ito dahil ayoko na talagnag umasa.” Ang naging malaking konsolasyon lang ni Vilma sa Rubia Servios ay ang tinamong tagumpay nito sa takilya na kahit tapos na ang festival ay patuloy pa ring ipinapalabas sa mga sinehan at humakot ng marami pang manonood long afer it’s rival films were already withdrawn from exhibition. After Rubia and after a peropd of five years ngayon lang muling nagkasama sa pelikula sina Vilma Santos at Lino Brocka. Although there was a time before that the director wanted the actress for one of his films (Kontrobersiyal), hindi nagkaroon ng katuparan iyon dahil sa very hectic na schedule ni Vilma nuon at hindi na nakapaghintay si Lino. The role eventually went to Gina Alajar and the film became one of Lino’s most underrated movies. Sa Aida Macaraeg, muli na namang tatalakayin ang tungkol sa infidelities ng marriage na naging tatak na ng mga pelikula ni Vilma.

Sa pagkakataong ito, hindi na siya ang “Kabit” kundi siya na ang magkakaroon ng extra-marital relations o sa madaling sabi, siya na ang magkakaroon ng “kabit.” Nangyari na rin tio sa ilang pelikula ni Vilma kung saan ginampanan niya ang papel ng isang babaing my asawa at nagkaroon siya ng loverl tulad sa Hiwalay, Karma, at Minsan Pa Nating Hagkan Ang Nakaraan. Pero kakaiba ang mangyayari sa kanya sa Aida Macaraeg dahil dito ay madedemanda siya. How the actress will handle the role which in real life is the exact opposite of herself is something too watch especially now that husband Edu Manzano is back after almost a year of estrangement. For a superstar and a highly successful actress who tries so hard to hold on to her married life like their is no other, playing an adulterous wife is almost a life-like departure for her. As she has always said time and again: “I’m trying my best to make my marriage work. Kahit ano pa mang pambabatikos ang gawin nila hindi ko hahayaang masira ang aking married life nang ganoon na lang. Ang pinakamahalaga sa aking ngayon ay ang aking asawa’t anak. Sila ang dahilan kung bakit kinakaya ko ang lahat. Sabi nila, hindi raw puwedeng pagsabayin ang movie career at marriage. But I will try my best that what happened to most of my colleagues will not happen to me. I am willing to compromise fo the sake of my marriage. I have always belived in my husband at kung kinakailangang isakripisyo ko ang aking movie career ay gagawin ko huwag lang masira ang aming magandang pagsasama. Hindi ko basta-basta isusuko na alng ang lahat. Mahal na mahal ko sial.” With that kind of belief and devotion, siguro wala nang makakapigil pa sa aktres na itaguyod ang kanyang sariling pamilya. Wala na. Not even her movie career. What a woman! This Trudis Liit now transformed into the “biggest” women in local film history namely Aida Macaraeg, Sister Stella L and Baby Tsina. With that kind of revoluntionary women’s role in recent history, who needs a husband? Only Vilma Santos! – Julio Cinko N., Movie Flash, 05 January 1984, Posted at Facebook

News Clippings Is Back! 3/3

Relevant Films for Millenials – “…For the millennial generation who want to learn more about the relevant films during the martial law period, I would highly recommend the book Re-viewing Filipino Cinema by Bienvenido Lumbera, National Artist for Literature. I have not seen all the films during and about martial law. But, I remember those that I would highly recommend…Dekada 70 was produced in 2002 but is about the story of a Filipino family during martial law. The essential story is about Amanda (Vilma Santos) and Julian (Christopher de Leon) who are raising their five sons during the repressive dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. The parents are apolitical but their sons turn to various forms of activism as a result of life under martial law. Eventually, the family becomes the victim of extremist violence and Amanda soon becomes a dissident. The film director was Chito S. Rono…There is no question that in today’s digital world, people – students, laborers, rich, poor – prefer film to reading books. Film has become the most powerful means of recreation; but, they can also be a means for education. Film may be the best medium to teach millennials and future generations about the true and unrevised version of Philippine history…” – Elfren S. Cruz, The Philippine Star, 24 September 2017 (READ MORE)

Hindi Nakaporma – “She was bubbling with joy,” puna ni Mark, who obviously was smittened yata with Vi’s charm. Kaya lang, ang balita namin, tipo raw na hindi nakaporma si Mark kay Vi dahil sa isang Dutchman na laging nakadikit sa aktres. Kamukha raw ni Ramil Rodriguez ang “suitor”na ito ni Vi at talaga raw matinding-matindi ang tama sa ating dalaga. Makikita ninyo sa movie ang Dutchman na ito dahil kasama rin siya sa cast ng “Miss X.” At mukhang seryoso raw ang Dutchman na ito dahil may nagbulong sa amin, malamang na pumunta siya rito sa ating bansa para totohanin na ang kanyang panliligaw. Kapag nangyari ito, masaya siguro. By the way, back to Damsquare, naroon din daw pala ang palace ni Doña Juliana, ang reyna ng Amsterdam, pero hindi siya doon nakatira. Minsan isang buwan lang kung buksan ang palasyo at itoý kung may cabinet conference. Si Doña Juliana ay anak ng first queen ng Amsterdam na si Doña Wilhelmina. Sa Soastdijk (pronounced as Susdak) siya nakatira. Isang lugar din ito sa Netherlands. Ipinasyal din ni Mark si Vi sa Red Light District. Dito kinunan ang malaking bahagi ng “Miss X.” Dito nga makikita ang much talked about na mga babaing naka-display sa eskaparate at for hire for a 15-minute pleasure…” – Article by Chit A. Ramos, Photos: Bing Cruz, first published at Jingle Extra Hot Magazine, 26 November 1979, Posted by James DR, Pelikula (READ MORE)

Fight Scene – “…In 1974, our house became a setting of GPS Productions’ “Vivian Volta.” Vilma Santos shot one scene, a fight scene…Edgar Mortiz , who was also in the movie, accompanied Vi to the set. I read in some gossip column that Vilma and Edgar that time had already problem with their relationship. Basketball star Dave Brodett, who was rumored to be courting Vilma, paid the young actress a visit at the set. Several scenes were also shot the following day, with veteran actor Eddie Garcia, playing a mad scientist and comebacking actress Leonor Vergara, who played his wife…” – Posted by Simon Santos, Video 48, 21 September 2017 (READ MORE)

Eh Bakit si Nora Aunor? – “…Ang strength ng pelikula ay ang script nito (na nakapangalan sa tatlo: Zig Dulay, Antoinette Jadaone at Jeffrey Jeturian). Kahit na nagpaka-real time ito (upang maramdaman ng audience ang exhaustion na hinihingi ng isang bit player) o tipong nagpapaka-a day in the life of lang, ramdam na ramdam na meron itong script. Nai-shoot nito ang point nang lapat na lapat. Klaro ang motivation ng central character kung bakit ginagawa n’ya ang mga bagay na pinaghihirapan n’ya. Isa rin itong dahilan upang samahan natin si Loida (Vilma Santos) sa kanyang pakikipaglaban sa araw na ‘yun. May tendency na magpaliwanag masyado kung anu-ano ang mga ginagawa sa produksyon pero nasolusyunan naman ito sa paggamit ng isang karakter na baguhang ekstra. Maging ‘yung tanong sa dulo bago matapos ang pelikula, naselyuhan nito ang halaga ng ginagawa natin hindi lang bilang isang taga-film production kung hindi bilang trabahador na rin sa Pilipinas sa pangkalahatang perspektibo. Nakuha rin ako ng humor ni Jeturian dito. Tingin ko, sensibilidad n’ya ang ganitong wit at wala akong makitang direktor ngayon na nasa ganitong level. Ngayon na lang ulit ako natawa sa kanya mula roon sa isang eksena sa “Pila Balde” kung saan kumain ng panis na hopya si Estrella Kuenzler. OK naman si Vilma rito. Masayang makita na ang mga shining moment n’ya rito ay ‘yung mga eksenang tumatawa s’ya. Pero dahil Vilmanian si Jeturian, hindi naman puwedeng walang eksena na aangat si Vilma sa mga nakagamayan na. Gusto ko ‘yung nakikipagpagalingan s’ya para sa isang role bilang katulong. Maliban sa larger than life na presence ng bida, umangat din ang mga suporta rito: Marlon Rivera (bilang soap opera director at so far, s’ya ang aking bet para sa Best Supporting Actor sa Directors Showcase), Tart Carlos (bilang kapwa ekstra at sounding board ng bida) at Ruby Ruiz (bilang Josie). Sa side note, ganito palang manood ng Vi movie na ang katabi mo ay isang ultimate Vilmanian. Bago mag-umpisa, hindi mo mahagilap dahil parang bomb specialist na iniisa-isa ang mga entrance at exit ng Main Theater kung saan papasok ang mga artista. At malakas din ang tawa n’ya r’un sa isang linya na “Eh bakit si Nora Aunor?…” – Manuel Pangaruy Jr., Tagailog Specials Presents, 28 July 2013 (READ MORE)

No More Superstar Image – “…Isa iyong ikslusibong pakikipanayam sa aktress sa set ng “T-Bird,” isang pelikulang tumatalakay sa mariing iksistensiya ng isang tomboy, at sa pagkakataong ito, muli na naman siyang makakasama ang kaytagal na niyang kakontemporaryong aktress, si Vilma Santos. Sa intriga’t kontrobersiya ng naturang pelikula, (sapagkat kamuntik nang hindi matuloy ang proyekto) nagpapasalamat si Nora at nagkaroon din iyon ng katuparan. Nagtapat siya: “Malaki rin ang naitulong nang pagkikita namin ni Vi sa Manila International Film Festival. Kasi, magkatabi kami. Kinabukasan nun, Saturday, meron nang shooting…Tapos, ang laki rin ng tulong nu’n kasi nagkakuwentuhan na rin kami, ang sarap! Ewan ko, ang sarap talaga ng pakiramdam kung halimbawang magkalaban kayo sa career…magkalaban, pagkatapos ang tagal-tagal n’yo, ‘yung ganu’n. ‘Yong bang hindi mo akalain…Kahit nga mga problema nag-kakuwentuhan din kami, eh…So, ‘nu’nung shooting namin, medyo hindi rin ako masyadong nahirapan sa pag-a-adjust…” Ang totoo, ayon kay Nora, medyo ayaw din niyang tanggapin noong una ang papel na iyon sa “T-Bird.” Unang-una naipangako niya sa sariling gagawa lamang siya ng tatlong pelikula para sa 1982, at hindi nakalinya ang obrang iyon ni Danny Zialcita. Isan linggo niyang pinag-isipan ang alok na iyon ay gumuhit nang malalim ang isang intrigang kanya rin napaglabanan, pagkatapos. “Kasi, unang-una, iniisip ko rin naman, siyempre maraming tao na mag-iisip na naman, magsasalita na naman ‘O baka naman tinatanggap ni Nora ‘yan kasi kakapit sa pangalan ni Vilma dahil alam na down na down na siya!…So, ‘yon, nag-worry ako pero pagkatapos kong pagaralan, naisip ko, bakit ko naman pakikialaman ‘yung ibang tao? Sa ngayon naman, nag-matured na kami. Wala na ‘yung mga batang isipan d’yang Superstar image. Unang-una nga, magsasama kami ngayon as actresses. Hindi na mga dating pa-bandying-bandying ang mga pelikula ngayon…saka isa pa, bakit ko ba iintindihin ang mga sasabihin ng tao? Kung maraming mga detractors ang magsasalit at mag-iisip nang ganun, hindi maiiwasan ‘yon. Maski anong paliwanang ang gawin mo, andu’n pa rin ‘yung kaumakalaban sa iyo…” Isang seryosong pelikula ang “T-Bird” at isang seryosong direktor naman si Danny Zialcita. Ang kay Nora ay ang maranasan ang pagpapel ng isang tomboy hindi sa paraang kumedya kundi sa isang paraang dramatika. Gusto rin niyang maranasan kung paano maiderihe ni Danny sa unang pagkakataon…” – Arthur Quinto, photos by Fely Igmat, Artista Magazine, 04 March 1982, Re-posted by James DR, Pelikula Atbp (READ MORE)

My First Ever Short Story – “…In 1963, I was a civil engineering student at the Mapua Institute of Technology, supporting myself through college with employment at the travel agency cited above, as a manager/janitor. I say manager because I was, indeed, designated manager by the agency owner, another Mr. Tan, but I continued to be the stay-in messenger/janitor of that whole ground floor unit of a building in Binondo. A venerable Chinese (a Towa or Siuwa, can’t recall now) of senior age, the partner of Mr. Tan in the import/trading business, would engage me in storytelling during lunchbreaks. Probably he had been observing how at night I would pound the typewriter to churn out short story manuscripts, which I never tired of writing despite the consistent rejections I got from Weekly Graphic literary editor Vicente Rivera, Jr. (In 1965, anyway, Vic stamped okay my first ever short story to be published, “Forests of the Heart,” adapted in 1975 into the screenplay titled, by the film director Celso Ad Castillo, “Tag-Ulan Sa Tag-Araw,” a smash hit that starred Vilma Santos and Christopher de Leon.) During one such lunchbreak, the old man told me this tale of a handsome macho Chinese scrap dealer who was enamored of a lovely Spanish widow. The two lived as lovers and begot seven sons who the father named according to Chinese numerology, thus: It-sun, for the first son; Di-sun, for the second son; Sam-sun, for the third; Si-sun, for the fourth; Go-sun, for the fifth; Lac-sun, for the sixth; and Sit-sun, for the seventh. In Fookien Chinese, there is a word “tua,” meaning “big”. Used in this context of the seven sons, “tua” could refer to the big one, who else but the seventh who could be dubbed Tua-sun. Over time, the “u” in the “sun” had been changed to “o,” making the names read thus: Itson, Dison, Samson, Sison, Goson, Lacson, and Sitson. And what are these names but of those among the elites of Philippine society…” – Mauro Gia Samonte, The Manila Times, 21 October 2017 (READ MORE)

Regular Filipino “Darna” Mom – “…Just a normal teenage boy, except that he is not – at least not to us, the public. He is, after all, the son of the Star for All Seasons. He grew up in a world where his mom was already the Ate Vi. To this day, when he comes home from school, there are times when he would look for his mom and jokingly shout: “Ate Vi!” “I didn’t see her before she wasn’t well-known to everyone,” he says. “I didn’t need to get used to it, you know what I mean? Kasi, for me, that was normal.” It was normal that one day he stumbled upon videos of the Darna series that starred his mother. “The feeling you get, you know,” he says animatedly. “You see Wonder Woman, but I can say my mom did it better! Hahaha! Kasi ako, I’m a big komiks fan and the fact that she played a superhero, that’s…ang galing!” Ryan lists the Darna series, particularly Darna and the Giants, as his favorite in his mother’s filmography. Not many can say that their moms had “playing Darna”in their resume, but Ryan says that, for the most part, his mother is a “regular Filipino mom.” Whenever Ryan had friends over, Ate Vi would welcome them and insist on feeding everyone. “Kahit busog ka, bibigyan ka pa rin.” At home, Ryan says his mom would typically be in a shirt, “short shorts,”and one of those workout headbands. Not in a duster? “She’s too young for that!” Ryan replies, chuckling. “I’m kidding. Not just her thing.” He says Ate Vi, on her days off from work, can usually be found sitting on the couch in the TV are. “She does everything in that couch!” he says. She works out, eats, watches TV, and even falls asleeep there. “She sleeps with the TV on,” Ryan reveals. “If you turn off the TV, she’ll wake up.” Overall, he says, his mom is “a mix of strict and cool.” He even prefers talking to her when it comes to the subject of girls. Both of his parents “give good advice,” he says. “Pero I like mom’s advice better. Hahaha! If you want to know something about a woman, why would you ask a man? Might as well ask a woman! So girls -Mom. Dad -all of the serious stuff…” – Candice Lim-Venturanza, Yes! Magazine October 2015 (READ MORE)

Fair kung magpresyo ng ‘TF’ si Ate Vi – “…Pinabulaanan ng Star for All Seasons and Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto ang sinasabing nagtaas na rin ito ng T.F. sa ginagawang pelikula with Kim Chiu. Kaalinsabay ito ng tsismis na ang kaniyang karibal na si Orang ay sky-high din daw ang TF sa “El Presidente.” “Basta kung ano yung (binigay) na t.f ko, worth ‘yun sa serbisyo ko. Kung ano lang yong hinihingi ko, hindi ako sumusobra. Pero, kailangan din, ‘pag hiningi ko, worth it naman, ” ani Ate Vi sa kaniyang serbisyo bilang aktres. May pahabol pa ngang biro si Ate Vi, regarding isyung-TF, ”Wag namang patalo at hindi naman ako aabuso,” aniya na if she works, “I will definitely deliver. I don’t promise, but I’ll deliver,” sey ni Ate Vi no’ng huli naming makatsikahan sa Mansion” sa Batangas. Sa Laki sa Gatas event last Friday na ginanap sa Bago Bantay Elementary School, where Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto’s the guest speaker, naitsika nito sa isang preskon after the Bago Bantay event sa Bella Ibarra sa Quezon Avenue ang tungkol sa pagtakbo ng anak bilang mayor ng Lipa City, Batangas this coming national elections, 2013. “(Ang Alam ko), Parang may interes si Luis,” pahayag ni ate Vi sa amin. Kaya lang, may kondisyon siyempre ang Star for All Seasons sa napipintong pagpasok ni Luis sa pulitika. “Gusto ko, kung ano yong ginawa ko, gagawin din niya.” diretsong pahayag pa ni Ate Vi. “Meaning, mag-aaral siya (Luis) at magti-take ng crash course ng Public Administration gaya ng ginawa ko.” aniya. Ate Vi assures naman Luis na bukod sa suporta rito ng kanyang tito Ralph Recto, ng tatay niyang si Edu Manzano, kailangang may alam ang anak. “Iba pa rin yong may napag-aralan pagdating sa Public Administration, kasi yon ang nangyari sa akin (na nag-aral din ng ganitong kurso). “I will not encourage him, but i will not discourage him either, kung gusto niyang pumasok sa politics. Kung doon siya pupunta, I will support him all the way,” ate Vi assures…” – Thor, Remate, September 2011 (READ MORE)

Guy & Pip and Vi & Bobby: Magkakasama Sa Isang Pelikula Pero Hindi Sa Eksena – “Sa wakas ay tuloy na rin daw ang kontobersiyal (kung angkop ngang tawaging kontrobersiyal) na pagsasama-sama sa isang pelikula ng dalawang pinakamatutunog na tambalang pampelikula. Ang dalawang tambalang binubuo ng sa ngayo’y itinuturing na most sensational loveteams in real ang real life. Ang tinutukoy namin ay ang “Pinagbuklod ng Pag-ibig” ng Tagalog Ilang-Ilang Pictures na gagampanan nina Nora Aunor, Tirso Cruz III, Vilma Santos at Romeo Vasquez in the stellar roles. Very fitting title for these four indeed, lalo pa kung iisipin ang mga balitang romantic relationships nila sa real life. Pero the big catch sa pelikulang ito ay ang pangyayaring ni hindi magkakasama ang apat na ito sa kahit isang eksena pagkat sina Guy at Pip ay para sa isang episode at sina Vi at Bobby naman ay sa isa pa. Bale magkabukod na pelikula kung tutuusin na pagsasamahin sa ilalim ng isang main title. Lately ay nagiging gimmick ang ganito ng ilang mga producer. You will see big names in the marque or before that, sa mga publicity and without thinking hard, iisipin agad ninyong this could be a good movie with a loaded star cast and you might just be intrigued by the prospect of seeing some controversial stars perform together. Alas, when you see the movie, iba-ibang episodyo pala ang pelikula at hindi magkakatagpo and sana’y inaasahan ninyong mga artista sa kahit isang eksena…” – Eddie Roque, Kislap Magazine, 01 December 1977 (Please note: Actually, there were two scenes where both Vi and Guy were together, one was when the four leads attended a party, Vi and Bobby did a superb dance number and the second was when Guy and Vi talk over the phone and consulted each other about their situations. – RV)

Baka Maging “Brown” Na Ang Tagak – “…Speaking of Guy & Alona (Alegre), me project pala ang huli para sa kanyang AA Productions. Isang pelikulang Guy & Pip at Alona-Bobby Vasquez. Controversial movie, di ba? Dahil controversial ang loveteams involved. Tingnan natin kung talunin nito ang kinita ng Guy & Pip, Vi-Bobby blockbuster ng TIIP. Teka, anon na nga pala ang nangyayari sa “Isang Gabi Sa Iyo, Isang Gabi Sa Akin” ng AA Productions? Bakit daw madalas na napa-pack ang shooting nito? Ayon sa aming informat, malasa daw na out of town ang Oropesa ngayon kaya hindi nakakapagshooting. How true is this, Beth? What? Inindiyan ni Bobby Vasquez si Vilma Santos sa set ng pelikulang “Pag-ibig Ko’y Sa Iyo” ng HPS Films? Ano balita namin hindi naman totally inindiyan kundi na-late lamang ng dating si Bobby na kung ilang oras. Imagine naman, ma-stood up ka sa set nang for several hours, bakit nga hindi ka malinis? Nainis nga ang Vi kaya binirahan ng alis. Sayang, iyon pa naman sana ang kanilang first eksena sa pelikula, hindi pa natuloy. At iyon din sana ang kanilang first pagkikita after several months na they called it quits. Kung magkita sila, ano kaya ang magiging reaction ng dalawa? Magbalik kay ang old flame? Hmmm… Nangiti lamang ang Vilma Santos nang sabihin namin ang kumakalat na balita na sila na raw ni Bembol Roco ngayon. “Ikaw naman, para kang bago nang bago sa showbiz. Eh sino bang leadin man ko and hindi lini-link sa akin? At huwag kang magtataka, lalaki yan, I know. Papaypayan nang papaypayan ‘yan hangang maging issue.” nakangiting say ng Vilma. Sa wakas, nabunutan na raw siya ng tinik. Natapos na rin ang Majayjay scenes ng kanilang “Pag-puti ng Uwak, Pag-Itim ng Tagak.” Nakunan na raw ni Castillo ang mga highlight scenes ng pelikula including the dramatic finale kung saan parehong mamamatay sina Vi at Bembol. Pero may naiwan pa ring mga eksena na dito na sa Maynila kukunan…iyon mga hospital scenes at campus scenes sa U.P. “Baka naman abutin na naman iyong nang kung ilna buwan?” say namin. “Ano? Baka magkulay-brown na ang tagak?” tumatawang sagot ni Baby Vi…” – Rino Fernan, Weekly Kampeon Komiks, 30 April 1978

Unheralded Heroes – “…I watched Ekstra (aka The Bit Player) during its star-studded gala premiere. Sure enough, there was boisterous laughter all over the fully-packed Main Theater at CCP. But, how come I barely find anything funny with the film? After much rumination, I recalled producer Joji Alonso’s request to people who dislike the film to be fair. She usually is upbeat and confident with her Cinemalaya films, most of which are award winners and audience favorites. So when Alonso made the unusual plea, I thought it was a red flag. On the last day of Cinemalaya 2013, I reluctantly gave the box-office champ Ekstra a second chance. I’m glad I did because it was a much better film experience for me. I’d zoned out on the clunky jokes and focused on the story. Boy, the film’s satiric barbs really, really stings. I laud the film’s courageous, no-holds-barred depiction of ruthlessness in the telenovela industry. Ekstra does a decent job of showing the hardships faced by an extra like Loida Malabanan (Vilma Santos). The life of a bit player is not a bed of roses. Movie and television extras are subjected to various types of abuse. They belong to the lowest stratum in the hostile showbiz jungle. Loida and her colleagues were shooed away by various groups while in search of a place to rest and put their things. The film’s scriptwriters, Jeturian, Zig Dulay, and Antoinette Jadaone, won an award for their poignant take on those unheralded heroes of the film and TV industry. Jadaone, however, has written and directed a better, funnier film on a lowly bit player. Feeling sorry for Loida at the end of Ekstra?…Bit players yearn for a place on the screen, big or small. Loida dreams of breaking out from being a mere part of a crowd…” – Nel Costales, 1505 Film Avenue, 17 August 2013 (READ MORE)

Hindi Pa Ako Kasal – Vilma

Ate Mers, please lang, o…pakilinaw mo naman sa kanila na hindi totoo ýung balita na kasal na raw ako. Kami ni Bobot. Ito ang parang batang sumbong at ungot ni Vilma nang makita kami sa set nila ni Jay ng “Tsimosang Tindera” sa may LVN. Iyan nga rin ang itatanong ko sana sa ‘yo e. Balitang balitang-balita, a. Na secretly married na raw kayo ni Bobot. Sa Cavite pa raw. Diyos ko, Ate Mers. Hindi totoo ýan. Iyan din nga ang itinatanong sa akin ni Mommy Cora (Mommy ni Jay) kanina. Kung kasal na raw ako. Naku, sabi ko hindi! Ow, baka naman totoo na nga. Ayaw mo pang aminin wala namang masama roon. Pati ba naman ako paglilihiman mo pa. “Well, kunsabagay, hindi na nga pala ako kasali ngayon sa mga taong pinatatapatan mo. Panghuhuli kong wika. Medyo drama effect ang sound. Take one baga. Ito talaga si Ate Mers, oo! Palibhasa’y wala na aksing panahon ngayon kay Vilma ‘tapos ako pa ngayon ang babaligtarin mo kaya nga ikaw ang sinasabihan ko nitong tsismis na kumakalat sa aking ngayon dahil hindi na kita itinuturing na iba. Para ipagtanggol mo ako. Pero iyon naman e, kung mahal mo pa si Vilma Santos. Kung hindi na, okay lang. Ganting drama naman nito.

Ooops, teka…teka. Drama na naman tayo niyan eh! Tuwing magkikita tayo, eksena na natin ‘yan. O sige. Serious na tayo muna. O, anong problema natin, Kid? Iyon na nga. Kalat na kalat na kasal na raw ako ngayon. Oo nga eh. At balita pa na husband and wife na raw kayo ni Bobot diyan sa bagong bahay n’yo sa may Fairview. Diyos ko naman, hindi totoo ‘yon. I swear. Maski mamatay man kaming lahat ngayon. Bakit hindi ko aamninin kung kasal na akong talaga e, wala namang masama roon? Ang kaso nga lang, hindi naman totoo e. Kung kasal na ako, ibubulgar ko, ba’t hindi. Hindi ko ikakahiya at itatago na nagpakasal ako sa lalaking mahal ko. Dahil para sa akin, to marry the man I love would be the greatest event in my whole life, so bakit ko ide-deny ‘yon? Okay…okay. Relaz, Kid. So hindi pa kayo kasal? Hindi pa talaga. Totoo ‘yan? Totoong-totoo. Honest. Ang hirap naman sa’yo, parang hindi mo ako kilala eh. Kabisado mo naman ako, di ba? Pero may plano na kayong pakasal sa taong ito? A, wala pa. Desidido pa ako ngayong magpakasawa sa pagiging dalaga. Isa pa, deeply involved ako ngayon sa aking movie career. E, ano ‘yung nabalitaan ko na ikakasal ka na raw sa Feb 4? Sinong nagsabi sa ‘yo niyan?

Wala. Basta ‘yan ang balita ko, e. Aw, come on. Alam ko may nagsabi sa ‘yo niyan. Sabi na naman sa ‘yong wala, e. Balita ko lang ‘yon. Ow, mayroon alam ko. Dahil isang tao lang ang pinagsabihan ko niyan. O, kita mo na. Di totoo nga ‘yung Feb 4. Hindi. Lokohan lang namin ‘yon. Nino? asked ko kunwari. Hus, kunwari pa raw ‘to e, alam ko namang alam mo kung sino. Dahil siya lang ang pinagsabihan ko niyan. Sino nga ba ‘yon? Sabihin mo. Si Jay sino pa. Talaga ‘yang Ilagan na ‘yan, makikita niya. O, ikaw ang nagsabi niyan, ha. Wala akong binabanggit na pangalan ni Jay. Hindi, ang totoo Ate Mers, lokohan lang naming dalawa ‘yon. Usapan pa nga namin double wedding kami, e. Sa Feb 4 nga. Hindi na. Ayaw ko. Nagbago na ng date si Jay. Sinabi niya sa amin sa February 14 siya pakakasal. Sa St. Andrew Church pa nga e. Hus, maniwal ka doon. Puro goodtime ‘yon. Stir lang ‘yon tulad nang wedding supposed to be ko sa Feb 4. Talaga ‘yang si Jay na yan, oo. So talagang hindi totoo ‘yung balita na kasal ka na? O, eto ka na naman. Sabi nang hindi…hindi and a thousang hindi. Hindi pa kasali ‘yon sa mga plano ko sa ngayon.

So, no wedding plans for you yet this ’73, ha? -paniniyak ko. Mahaba pa ang taong 1973. Ngayon pa lang tayo nag-uumpisa. Anything, can always happen kaya ayoko munang mag-comment. It depends. Malay natin. So, may possibility? U-hurmnnn. Ikaw talaga, Ate Mers, ha. Hinuhuli mo ako talaga ano. Kabisado na kita e. -At tumawa siya. Tawang Vilma Santos pa rin na kilala ko. ‘Yung Vilma na hindi artista. O, ngayon kid, anong gusto mong i-headline na natin dito. Basta sabihin mo na lang sa kanila, pag ikinasal ako, ibubulgar ko. Hindi ko itatago. Lahat makakaalam. Promise ‘yan. Please lang Ate Mers, ha. Ikaw na ang bahala. OO, ba. Basta ikaw. Hayaan mo. Bukas na bukas din, ihe-headline natin….Vilma Santos Ikakasal na sa Katapusan! Okaw ba ‘yon? Ano? pabigla nitong tanong. Sa katapusan…sa katapusan ng mundo! And what d’ya expect? Kurot. Tawanan. Habulan. Iyan lang naman ang ending ng usapan namin nang hapong iyon. But one thing is maliwanag na ngayon, ha? Hindi pa kasal si Vilma. Take my word okay? – Mercy S. Lejarde, Bulaklak Magazine, 05 February 1973, reposted by Pelikula Atbp (READ MORE)